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Kincaid, George W.

Biographical Sketch, 1901



We are now permitted to touch briefly upon the life history of one who has retained a personal association with the affairs of Illinois throughout life and whose ancestral line traces back to the colonial epoch. His life has been one of honest and earnest endeavor and due success has not been denied him.

A native of this state, Mr. Kincaid was born in St. Clair county, on the 23d of December, 1821, and is of Irish descent on the paternal side. His grandfather, Andrew Kincaid, who fought for American independence in the Revolutionary war, was a native of Ireland and an early settler of Pennsylvania. The father, James Kincaid, was born in that state about 1790, and at an early day went to Kentucky, being among the pioneers of the Blue Grass state. There he grew to manhood and married Miss Polly Sanders, who was of English and Scotch extraction, and whose father had also removed to Kentucky in pioneer days. He was from Virginia. James Kincaid followed farming in Kentucky until about 1820, when he removed to St. Clair county, Illinois, locating within ten miles of St. Louis, where our subject was born near Belleville. In 1823 he took his family to Greene county, subsequently spent one year in Rock Island county, and then located in Mercer county, where he improved a farm and reared his children. He continued his residence there throughout the remainder of his life, but died while on a visit to our subject in Henry county, in 1855. He was a soldier of both the war of 1812 and the Black Hawk war, and was ever a true and loyal citizen.

George W. Kincaid is one of a family of eight children, four sons and four daughters, of whom two sons and two daughters are still living. Franklin is a resident of Mercer county, Illinois. Nancy married James Glenn, of Henry county, and both are now deceased. Martha is the widow of George Sinley and a resident of Colona. Emma is the wife of Charles Davis, of Missouri. Mrs. Sophia Mendenhall resided in Hancock county, Illinois, until her death.

The days of his boyhood and youth George W. Kincaid passed in Mercer county, but he received only a limited education. There he was married in 1844 to Miss Louisa Smith, who was born in Ohio, and came to this state in 1837, locating in Mercer county. After his marriage he continued to reside in that county for a time, and then removed to Rock Island county, while in 1850 he came to Henry county, and purchased an eighty-acre tract of land in Colona township, known as the Dr. Baker farm. Upon this place he has since made his home, and to it he has added from time to time until he now owns nearly five hundred acres of land in one body. Three hundred acres of this amount has been placed under the plow, and improved with two sets of good buildings. Although he started out in life for himself in limited circumstances Mr. Kincaid has steadily worked his way upward by diligence, fair dealing and untiring industry until he is now one of the most prosperous citizens of his community.

Mr. Kincaid’s first wife died in the fall of 1853. By that union he had six children, namely: William, a resident of the state of Washington; Mrs. Anna Anderson, of Kewanee, Illinois; Lucy, wife of Maxwell Murray, of Nebraska; Harriet, wife of Thomas Davis, of Iowa; A. Jackson, who is engaged in farming on the home place; Louisa, wife of James Montgomery, of Rock Island. Mr. Kincaid was again married in 1856, his second union being with Mary Walker, who was born in Kentucky, but reared in Missouri. She died January 19, 1900, leaving one son, John F., who is married and engaged in farming and the manufacture of cheese at Briar Bluff, Illinois.

Since the formation of the Republican party, in 1856, Mr. Kincaid has been an ardent supporter of its principles, and has voted for all its presidential candidates, but has never cared for official honors. His interest in educational affairs was manifest by fifteen years of faithful service as school director in his district. He has been an eye witness of almost the entire growth and development of this state, and for half a century he has been prominently identified with the upbuilding of Henry county. He has since seen its wild lands transformed into beautiful homes and farms, its hamlets grow into villages and flourishing towns, and all of the interests and evidences of an advanced civilization introduced. As a honored pioneer and worthy citizen of his adopted county he is certainly deserving of prominent mention in its history, and his sketch will be read with interest by a host of warm friends throughout the county.

Source and notes

Transcribed from pp. 80-84, The Biographical Record of Henry County, Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1901), in October 2009. This is a full and exact transcription. I have checked it twice against the original, and it is identical in every character--except for the following three corrections:

  • I changed the period in "The father, James Kincaid. was..." to a comma.
  • I fixed the obvious printer's goof in "Mr. Kincard's first wife died...."
  • I inserted a space in "the interests andevidences of an advanced civilization."

I did not correct the sketch's one serious misspelling: George Siverly's name erroneously appears as "George Sinley" (Mr. Siverly married George Kincaid's sister Martha). 

The image that appears with my transcription was published alongside the sketch, taking up all of p. 81 in The Biographical Record of Henry County, Illinois. I've adjusted the contrast in Photoshop.

I have verified that all the Illinois marriages mentioned in the sketch also appear in the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index. The sole exception is George's daughter Anna's marriage to a Mr. Anderson. In that case, I believe that Mr. Anderson was actually her second husband, her first husband being a Mr. Pugh. The 1870 federal census shows a 24-year-old woman named Ann Pugh (along with a baby and young boy with the same surname) living in the George Kincaid home. No relationship between Ann and George (or between Ann and the children) is specified, but a pair of searches in the Illinois Statewide Marriage Index show that

  1. Ann Kincaid married James Pugh in Rock Island County on January 1, 1869.
  2. Ann Pugh married Henry C. Anderson in Henry County on September 13, 1873.
This is only a working hypothesis, though; all my evidence is highly circumstantial, and I can't prove any of these Anns were the same person.